Anne Smith :: Blog for November 2015
Sailing into November here in SoFlo. I just got in from a nice evening bike ride; breezy and pleasant, the smell of woodsmoke in the air making me really homesick for cooler climates. Down here, anything below 80 degrees is considered cool enough for a bonfire.
I am in a reading/writing phase, juggling job searches and job fairs with recording and performing. I know that work is important, but also that the right job/career is even more so. I won't settle, ever, again for employment that does not meet my personal requirements. I'm still performing at Cinque Terre in Davie, Thursday evenings…happy to say that I am building a following-and looking to add 1-2 more gigs weekly elsewhere.
I am also happy to say that I will have a new song being released on YouTube before Thanksgiving, "Like the Snow". My dad joked that it sounded like a commandment, and that he was "NOT going to 'like the snow' if it amounts to anything like last winter" (in upstate NY).
The lyrics for "Like the Snow" were written several years ago, and sort of languished in my journal. I shared them with a few people, and composed a simple melody that I recorded, but wasn't quite satisfied with. I had conceived the idea for the song from a comment that my then-boyfriend had made, "your touch is so soft, like the snow". Awwww. The phrase stuck in my head. One day as I waited in line at the post office, I saw a grainy black & white poster made from the xeroxed copy of a photo released by The Associated Press. The poster was asking for donations for "care packages" to be sent overseas, and portrayed US Troops in Afghanistan, conducting door to door searches. One particular soldier's position caught my eye. He was kneeling, and his weapon was trained on the door of a small dwelling. As I continued to study the poster, I suddenly perceived the outline of a white dove on the shoulder of the kneeling soldier. The curve of his helmet was the dove's head, a rivet was the bird's eye, the brim was the beak, and the creased fabric of his uniform resembled feathers. It was unmistakable. I started to think about the approaching holidays, families and countries torn apart by war, the white feathers of a dove, torn from the sky, the feathers floating down….like the snow. !!! What I love about being an artist, and the process of songwriting, is that you never know when the muse is going to hug you. I wrote "Like the Snow" that evening, in about 30 minutes. Years passed. The muse must have wondered why she bothered with me.
One evening this past July, I started playing with the lyrics. A melody appeared. I shared the song with a super-talented guitarist in my church, Aaron Stang, who works for Alfred Publishing and is a wonderful musician with an ear for arranging. He took it on as a project- A song appeared. Aaron asked me "what are your plans for the song? Are you going to sell it? Do you want me to post it on YouTube?" It occurred to me that I really didn't know what I wished-this is my downfall, creating for the sheer joy and love of the process…and then what? Then the inner voice of judgement begins. Will everyone like it? Is it good enough? Does it have commercial appeal? Should I just save it until I have enough songs for the next CD, (but I'm so broke, I'll never be able to put out another)? A wonderful coincidence appeared. One night while job searching on Linkedin, I saw a note from a physical therapist, Oscar Quiroga, whose clinic I had an interview with over 2 years ago. Initially we met because he had pioneered a new system of music notation that is quite remarkable, and it is just now starting to get noticed in some pretty big circles. His note read, "Hi, please let me know what is going on with the clinic you work in". I contacted him and we arranged to meet to discuss my doing some music/movement/sound workshops and sessions at his clinic. During the course of our conversation, I impulsively shared a recording of "Like the Snow" with Oscar. He has a background in banking and law. He yelled at me to immediately file for an electronic copyright from the Library of Congress. I was trying to save money by mailing a copy of the song to myself. Yeah. I know. Oscar loves making videos and is going to assemble some of the photos and art I have sent him for a YouTube video. I am going to offer it as a free download, in exchange for a desired goal of 1,000,000, hits. That will depend on your support!
Many of the photographs that are being used in the video are from the US Department of Defense, previously released and in the public domain. I urge all of you to visit that site: http://www.defense.gov/Media/Photo-Gallery?igpage=7&igsearch=homecoming As I searched through the thousands of images, I cried. My song is not just for those in the military but for those who are separated for reasons beyond their control. To feel such longing for a loved one is unbearable To be reunited with that loved one is a feeling beyond compare. I have tried to capture that essence in one song.
I will be sending out e-blasts to let you all know when "Like the Snow" will be out. I am thinking of you all, as a "soul group" and as "individual lights" and I'm treasuring every way you have touched me at different times in my life with your love, your words, notes, art, posts, humor, kindness, financial help, lessons, emotional support, friendship and prayers. From my heart, thank you.
Until Next Time-
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